French podcasts are a great way to develop listening comprehension and learn from interesting people. I use the Apple podcast app on my iPad to listen to them as I get ready for work. Here are my favorites, for the high intermediate to advanced listener, roughly rated in order of degree of difficulty, from easiest to the most challenging:
1. Change ma vie: outils pour la vie, by Clotilde Dusolier – I met Dusolier when she came as a guest speaker at the summer program I work at in Paris. She was a cookbook author and blogger of Chocolate and Zucchini. In this podcast, however, she talks about a different passion, living a life that is full and happy. A new episode comes out every Thursday and lasts about twenty minutes. Dusolier’s diction is very clear and easy to understand.
2. Dans la tête des femmes, by My Little Paris – This was a short series of five episides produced by a great resource for all sorts of francophile finds. Each is about the important relationships in women’s lives.
3. Indépendente: conseils pour entrepreneuses en ligne, by Eleonore Bridge – I follow Bridge’s eponymous blog. Her podcast, as the title suggests, is about common challenges facing female entrepreneurs. She’s only published four so far.
4. Rives de Seine, by Ville de Paris – This group of twelve episodes is quite delightful and under ten minutes long. The idea is simple; someone strolls up to people who are passing time on the banks of the Seine and initiates a conversation.
5. Transfert, by Slate.fr – I love this one; every two weeks someone tells a story of something unusual that happened to them. Each story is about half an hour long and they’re so engaging that I often end up sharing them with my husband.
6. La Poudre, by Nouvelles Écoutes – This one definitely has the most challenging level of French. The host, Lauren Bastide, interviews guests about issues relevant to women, such as the first female mayor of Paris, the #metoo movement in France, and the rights of handicapped women. The weekly episodes are about an hour long.
Une baladodiffusion (oon bal-ad-o-dif-ew-zee-ohn) is the Québecois word for un podcast. It’s from balader, to stroll, and diffusion, to circulate or to disperse. I’m glad that’s the one that caught on – much easier to say and spell.